Top-seeded Beaver gets past Burrell to reach semifinals
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The anatomy of an upset often includes a fast start and the ability to capitalize on golden opportunities.
Burrell didn't achieve either in a 2-0 loss to top-seeded and undefeated Beaver on Monday afternoon at Hampton in the WPIAL Class AA softball quarterfinals.
The Bucs (13-4) gave up a run in the bottom of the first inning after a double by Beaver pitcher Casey Farkasovsky scored Tayven Rousseau.
It was all the offense Farkasovsky would need. The sophomore tossed a five-hit shutout, striking out eight and walking two.
“She's been strong all year,” Beaver coach Butch Rousseau said. “She's been our best hitter all year. She's come through in the clutch a number of times just like that. She's just been great all around.”
“They have a good pitcher, and they're a well-coached team,” Burrell coach Mike Spagnolo said. “The girls came out a little tentative, and it caught up with them.”
Despite the early hole, freshman pitcher Kasey Wolford kept Beaver (14-0) within reach.
“We made it a game. I was proud of how they battled and stayed in it. I think this Beaver team is going to win it all and we showed a lot of character by hanging in there,” Spagnolo said. “The opportunities that we had, we didn't cash in with the timely hits, and that's it. When you have a good team like that, a good pitcher like that, you have to cash in when you have the opportunity.”
Burrell left runners at first and second during the third and fourth innings, but its best chance to score surfaced in the top of the sixth.
Still trailing only 1-0, Ashley Szymkowiak doubled in the right-center gap, and Jaila Manga followed with a single. Manga watched the throw come into the infield, took off for second base and beat the tag. But Szymkowiak was caught lingering off third and was eventually tagged out in a rundown. Manga wound up hustling to third, narrowly avoiding a double play.
Farkasovsky escaped the threat unscathed by retiring the next two batters with a pop-up to second base and a strikeout.
“I think the girl was just caught up in the moment. She didn't realize the urgency of that situation,” Spagnolo said of the mishap on the bases. “That was a big play, and we ended up getting nothing out of that. That was the ballgame.”
The Bobcats added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. Ashley Kondrack singled to lead off and Bella Valent, facing a outfield shift favoring a pull hitter, went the other way with line drive to right field. Valent was gunned out at third, trying to stretch a double into a triple, but Kondrack scored with ease for a 2-0 edge.
“It was great,” Rousseau said. “That's what we needed.”
Facing the bottom of the lineup in the top of the seventh, Farkasovsky set the Bucs down in order to secure the win. The Bobcats will face Keystone Oaks, a 6-0 winner over Waynesburg, in the semifinals Wednesday at a site and time to be determined.
Monday marked the final high school game for Burrell seniors Szymkowiak, Manga, Kelsey Oddis and Melissa Mazzei.
“We had a great year for the group that we had, with a freshman pitcher and freshman catcher,” Spagnolo said. “I think the future looks good.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hempfield softball motivated after missing playoffs
- Greensburg Central Catholic softball hopes to bounce back in Class A
- Previewing the 2015 WPIAL softball season
- High school roundup: Yough edges Trinity in 9 innings
- Frazier softball optimistic heading into season
- Expectations high for Gateway softball
- McKeesport softball hopes to roll with changes
- Monessen beats Charleroi in 8 innings
- Elizabeth Forward back home from spring training, awaits section opener
- High school roundup: Moon downs defending champion West Allegheny
- Ligonier softball team works on offense